Pigeon expert Fred Luke

...asks expert pigeon shooter Fred Luke

It happens all the time. A keen but inexperienced pigeon shooter goes out and buys himself all the latest gear – but but he doesn’t have the fieldcraft to put it to good use.

Look at the picture below left. Our inexperienced shooter has placed his hide without any background. He is very easy to spot even with a face veil. His hands, silhouette and even the shine from the gun are all conspiring to give him away.

Just by building the same hide against a suitable background like a hedge (below right) he can improve things dramatically. However the front of the hide is still too low and the hands and gun are once again very obvious – a pigeon approaching from low level might miss him but anything flying across the hide at height would spot him in an instant.



Some professionals, like John Batley, favour a roofed hide design. In this type of hide, you are often able to dispense with a face veil as the shade breaks up your face completely. Only when you move to take the shot do you become visible – and with luck by this stage it is too late for the woodie to escape.

My usual hide is a similar roofed design, but I like to have the netting suspended quite high so that I am better hidden and can lean forward under its edge and still keep hidden. I keep the netting quite tight on the poles so that it doesn’t flap around in the breeze, which makes it easier to look through, removing the need to bob up and down like an apple at the fair!

No doubt other pigeon shooters will have their favourite hide designs, but this is the one that works best for me. Why not put a photo of you in your hide into our gallery section >>